LJWorld.com weblogs Big 12 realignment

Realignment aftermath: React, rejoice, move on


7:32 p.m. Update:

Here's what you've been waiting for... courtesy of KUsports.com online editor Jesse Newell, who missed most of the fun last week because he was on his honeymoon in Jamaica. Congrats, Jesse. Welcome back!!!

Anyway, here's Newell's Cliff's Notes version of what KU coaches Bill Self and Turner Gill had to say about the Big 12 staying together.

Newell's Cliff's Notes; Audio from Self and Gill press conference.

Reports have surfaced that Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are unhappy with the "deal" and that they're reconsidering, but sources told us around 2:30 p.m. today that Tech had committed to the new Big 12.

I think this is all fine and that the Big 12 will move forward as a viable league, as those reports are few and far between.

To calm your fears, read this.

More to come tomorrow so check back with KUsports.com often for more reaction and in case anything big breaks.

2:27 p.m. Update:

Hey all... We're headed up to KU to track down some coaches and hopefully athletic director Lew Perkins sometime soon. For now, here's a list of comments and reactions from some of the more influential people around the state, who have weighed in on this throughout the process.

Governor Mark Parkinson:

“This is great news to Kansas universities, student athletes, fans and our entire state. Today we solidify the future of the Big 12 Conference. In fact, we are in a better position than ever before. Chancellor Gray-Little, President Schulz and the Kansas Board of Regents provided outstanding leadership during this process. It was my pleasure to answer their call for assistance, and I appreciate their continued commitment to the state.”

Regents’ Chair Jill Docking, of Wichita, and Vice Chair Gary Sherrer, of Overland Park:

“We are delighted that an agreement to maintain the Big 12 Conference has been reached. Although there are a variety of details to be ironed out in the coming weeks, the strong commitment of the ten institutions involved ensures a bright future for the Big 12. The Board certainly applauds the collaborative efforts of K-State and KU to preserve the Conference. They share an intense rivalry on the field, which they skillfully re-focused on this successful and cooperative effort. This outcome is a win-win for our universities, their students and alumni, and the state.”

K-State President Kirk Schulz and K-State Athletics Director John Currie:

“Obviously, we are buoyed by the commitments of our existing colleagues and league institutions to preserve the Big 12 Conference and its position as one of the nation's top leagues. This was a very important moment in the history of Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. We both saw the significant value of keeping the Big 12 intact and we worked together diligently to help bring about this outcome. Together, we look forward to new levels of growth and opportunity in the conference. Our sincere appreciation goes to all of our league partners, and certainly Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe and his staff, for their hard work during this process.”

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins:

“The University of Kansas is excited about the bright future of the Big 12 Conference and its ability to provide long-term strength and vitality for the league and its members. The conference going forward offers schedule and travel choices that exhibit a concern for the student-athlete, as well as maintaining the rivalries that mean so much to our fans. This outcome is a result of the hard work and collaboration of many people, including presidents, chancellors and athletics directors, as well as Commissioner Dan Beebe and leaders inside and outside Kansas. It was particularly gratifying to work with our friends at Kansas State, because while we may compete on the field, we both understand the importance of working together to advance the best the interests of the State of Kansas.”

11:40 a.m. Update:

A healthy, positive and upbeat sounding commissioner spoke to reporters this morning, thrilled to announce that the future of the Big 12 is a bright one.

Among the things Beebe discussed:

  • The last 120 hours or so have been a roller coaster but the whole thing has gone on a lot longer than that. He's glad it's over and he's thrilled with the outcome for all 10 members.

  • There is no reworked TV deal in place. Reports to that end are false. However, the league has been given "strong verification" that there will be a lucrative TV deal in the near future and that the numbers will approach those that have been reported.

  • A big reason the Big 12 stayed together? Money, of course, but also strong allegiance and the respect for college sports being a regional venture and that this league best suits this region.

  • Commitments from the 10 schools are not yet written into a contract but Beebe is not worried. He feels very comfortable and believes the public commitments made by the institutions — 9 of the 10 are in with Texas Tech waiting for a board meeting today — are as good as gold.

  • Several people reached out to Beebe to help and offer support. Many believed that the death of the Big 12 would not have been good for college athletics.

  • The five schools that weren't pursued heavily — KU, KSU, MU, ISU and BU — agreed to use further distributions of revenue to entice Texas, OU and A&M to stay in the Big 12. That seems to mean that the revenue will still be split up unequally but all 10 members seem fine with that and OU, Texas and A&M were flattered by the gesture.

  • Penalties for Nebraska and CU will likely be up to 80% of what they earn in the next two years. The penalties will be paid and that money will be distributed to the remaining 10 members. It's not that CU and Neb. will actually pay, though, just that their earnings will be withheld. Same thing, though. Money's coming in.

  • Beebe says the Big 12 is not looking to expand "at all" at this time and that he's unsure whether the league will explore having a football championship game. Sounded like he was leaning toward not pursuing it, citing not wanting the title tilt to hurt the chances of a team in line to play for the national title.

  • Wouldn't commit to not changing the name of the conference. Something the members will have to discuss.

More to come in the form of staff blogs, links and reactions and any word we can get out of KU. Stay tuned in to KUsports.com throughout the day.

10:59 a.m. Update:

Sounds like the money may be guaranteed. According to Chip Brown, of Orangebloods.com, the new TV deals guarantee $20 million annually for Texas, OU and A&M and between $14 and $17 million for the seven other schools.

Considering KU made just over $11 million during the 2008-09 season, that is a HUGE jump and something that should provide KU with great security in the future. Wow.

Here's the link.

Teleconference time!!!

10:45 a.m. Update

Dan Beebe press conference about to get under way... Here's the link to listen to it live!

More to come throughout the day.

9:29 a.m. Update:

Just a couple of tidbits of information for those still following the whole realignment deal. And, believe me, if you're not, I don't blame you.

There's still a lot to learn, though, and for those interested in this thing, the next day or two could be just as informative as the last couple of days — maybe not as exciting, though.

Anyway... here's what we know. At 10 a.m. CDT today, the University of Texas will have a news conference to announce its decision to stay in the Big 12 — with 10 teams — and discuss the goings on of the past several days. I'm sure we'll get some answers — maybe not all — regarding (a) why they stayed, (b) what they're getting, (c) how the Big 12 was saved and (d) where we go from here.

That alone should be interesting.

Following that, however, at 11 a.m., Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe will be available to the media for another teleconference. The answers that don't come from Austin, may show up here, as I'm sure Beebe will be more than happy to discuss how things went down and how he saved the day. And why wouldn't he be? This guy, whether of his own doing or not, just pulled off a major upset.

I've been told by the powers that be around me that KUsports.com will carry Beebe's teleconference live right here on the site. So, if you want to listen, check it out.

That's the scoop for now. 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. are your times to remember. After that, we're expecting KU to have some sort of press conference or release some sort of statement this afternoon sometime. So stay tuned in to KUsports.com for that.

In the meantime, here's an interesting piece from ESPN's Andy Katz regarding the rescue of the Big 12 Conference.

I gotta be honest with you... It's almost hard to believe this is all over. Enjoy the day and enjoy the information that surfaces. Stay right here with KUsports.com for analysis and even more links throughout the day.


Kevin Randell 7 years, 9 months ago

UT played a great game of Texas Hold'em. They wanted more money and their own TV network and bluffed their way into it. I am happy that we are still together, but if we are going to stay strong or get stronger, we need to look at getting back to a 12 or 14 team conference. I say get agressive...do what the Pac-10 did....go out and get some good teams.

lithium45 7 years, 9 months ago

The on thing I haven't heard much about is how is Colorado going to play any of the Arizona teams considering they have an official travel restriction. Well I guess it is for city officials not University but a disparity nonetheless. I am also very interested in how CU is going to cough up the money for their re-alignment that is described as a better 'fit' - now that is funny. The city of Boulder will ban travel, but we will still play sports because it is a better fit. Laughable.

I am happy that Kansas is still in a power conference for the time being, but I am worried that Missouri will jump ship when they see greener pastures somewhere else. The conference may be saved for now, but I see the disparity between conference members as a big problem down the road.

devobrun 7 years, 9 months ago

Is the initial realignment about reducing the power of the NCAA? Why would Michigan, Ohio State, etc be interested in Missouri? Yes, they got Nebraska and that is a big plus for the Big 10. Maybe that was their target all along, but maybe they were looking for even more.

That is, maybe the big conferences were adding teams so that there would be 4 or 5 big conferences left, each with 16 teams. That's 64 to 80 top teams.

Then they join with Fox, ESPN, and CBS and the BCS to form a college football league. To heck with the NCAA.

I think that consolidation of football powerhouses was an early effort to circumvent the NCAA and all the Title IX and swimming and golf and recruiting restrictions.

Football is a completely separate unit of the athletics department in all universities. It is the elephant in the kitchen and by separating itself from all the non-revenue sports it would be more autonomous, powerful, and lucrative. Watch in the future for developments that lead toward autonomous college football.

Tiny cracks appear now and then, like the KU rowers joining a different conference, that show that non-revenue sports are a drag on the athletic department. Athletic departments give lip service to the sports education experience, but football is so much bigger than all the other sports combined that I look for re-alignment of all of college football. Not this year. Maybe not next year. Eventually it will be the National Collegiate Football League, the NCFL.

Richard Payton 7 years, 9 months ago

This network deal makes the Big 12 conference much stronger. Now, the option of Arkansas or Notre Dame joining the league could possibly be done. I'm not saying that will happen but if Notre Dame felt that the Big 10 conference was forcing their hand in a power conference their best option may be their own network.

Mary Sucha 7 years, 9 months ago

Notre Dame has it's own network, NBC. There is no new network "deal", just some estimates used to show some big numbers so a certain university could save face after aTm peeed in the punchbowl (SEC).

Kent Fisher 7 years, 9 months ago

Just think of the fun that JoeCollege (Larry Sinks) would be having with this fiasco!

camper 7 years, 9 months ago

Somehow sports seem to still be exciting despite big money. Frank Martin, the other day was asked why all of this was happening. He said he trusted his administration, but really, he hinted, money is the root of all evil. This kinda gave me some respect for the man. I think some of the schools are all looking for a bigger piece of the pie. Can't say I blame them, but it would have been interesting even if the Big 12 folded and a new conference started up. The new deal in working seems like it is conditional love. KU could have said so long, I'll find a new date to the prom, stick it. It would be a fresh start, a new conference, this would have been interesting too. KU (and all of the remaining schools) are fine enough institutions and they have something to stand on. The Sun would still come up if the Big 12 dismantled.

slowplay 7 years, 9 months ago

Great job Matt. Best reporting effort I've read on the subject.

Raider 7 years, 9 months ago

Texas Tech BOR are still in their meeting. They have been since 2:00pm. If they were going to simply rubber stamp the deal, it would have been done by now. This thing isn't over yet. Most-like Tech commits to the Big 12, but the fat lady hasn't begun to warm up yet. This could be interesting. All of us Tech fans/alums are sitting by our computers in anticipation of some sort of announcement.

Raider 7 years, 9 months ago

Well, apparently the Texas Tech Board of Regents has no guts. They caved in to UT and agreed to stay in the Big 12. Sad day for Red Raiders everywhere.

newmedia 7 years, 9 months ago

Probably picked up an additional football loss each year but hey, they got the cash !!

Jock Navels 7 years, 9 months ago

all those nebraskans with no tickets to the Lincoln stadium...you know, the ones who showed up in manhattan, lawrence, ames; towns within 90 minutes of nebraska...where they going to go now? huh? jokes on them...minneapolis, iowa city, madison? they didn't gain anything...they lost the close in road games...2d biggest loser in the whole deal...the Pac 10....what did they get....a nothing franchise 2 states and one time zone away...and anybody who has spent any time in denver knows denver is not a CU television market...Denver is a pro town...they have the Broncos, Nuggets and Rockies...those are the Denver teams...and Denver University has top notch hockey and lacrosse...Pac 10 will want to send CU back in a few years... KU has a terific basketball conference to play in right now...4 teams have been to the final four in recent history..more than any other conference, period...and 2 others have made it to the regional finals... it's all good, folks, all good.

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